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Xavi delivers his verdict on Barcelona’s win over Espanyol

The new coach enjoyed a winning start

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Santander Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona boss Xavi enjoyed a winning start to life as first-team coach on Saturday but admitted his team struggled against Espanyol.

The Catalans enjoyed a strong first half but had to wait until after the break to go ahead when Memphis Depay netted from the penalty spot.

Yet Espanyol had some great chances to equalize with Raul de Tomas hitting the woodwork and Lnadry Dimata heading a glorious chance just wide.

Xavi offered his verdict after the match and seemed satisfied even though he knows his team still have a lot to improve on.

“I feel like we suffered and it’s clear it was a very complicated derby. They are a very good team, very organised and it’s tough to break them down,” he said.

“We really did struggle, it’s still early days and there are things we can improve on. I’m happy with the attitude but they did have some clear cut chances.”

Xavi also hit back at reports Sergio Aguero has been forced to retire from football because of a heart condition.

“I don’t know where it’s come from,” he said. “I spoke to him and he’s calm. I told him he can come when he wants. It’s a medical issue. We have to wait.”

Saturday’s win sees Xavi’s team move into sixth place in the table, while the club legend’s return also brought the fans back to the Camp Nou with 74,418 in attendance on Saturday.